Jim Delany hasn't exactly kept it a secret that he has wanted to diversify the Big Ten's bowl lineup, as most of the conferences bowl games have taken place in Florida and Texas the last few years. Not it appears that Delany is closer to getting his wish.
According to the Cedar-Rapids Gazette the Big Ten is working on a deal that will send its third-place team to the Holiday Bowl to face a Pac-12 opponent.
An industry source said the Holiday Bowl and Big Ten are close to finishing a six-year agreement. The bowl will pick second in the Pac-12 and third in the Big Ten after the playoff and access bowls make their selections starting with the 2014 season. Officials cautioned that no deals are final, but they are optimistic.
"I think when the dust settles, you can speculate that the Big Ten is coming (to the Holiday Bowl), and you'll be OK," said the source with direct knowledge of discussions.
I'm a fan of this move. First of all, it's not just that the Big Ten's bowl games have been concentrated in Florida and Texas, it's that it feels like every bowl game has been against an SEC or a Big 12 opponent in recent years. Which gets repetitive after a while.
The philosophy with the next bowl lineup is not only national in location, but in opponent as well. Big Ten teams will be facing more ACC and Pac-12 opponents now. And, honestly, I'm all for another game against the Pac-12, even if it's in California.
I mean, non-Rose Bowl bowls in California against Pac-12 opponents have worked out well for the Illini recently, haven't they?